Famine, Affluence, And Morality By Peter Singer

811 Words 4 Pages
Within the text of “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” Peter Singer delves into the topic of famine; and more specifically, the moral obligations people have to those who are suffering. For example, Singer focuses on the population of East Bengal, and their struggle with famine and extreme poverty. Singer proposes that with enough aid from both individuals and various governments poverty can be eradicated. Therefore the question he presents is why some people are dying, while other people are spending excess money on luxuries? Singer argues that affluent people, living in affluent countries, are not helping developing countries by giving enough to alleviate extreme poverty.
The first point made by Singer is that the way people in prosperous
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Singer believes that the social distinction between duty and charity must be reconsidered. Furthermore, charity should no longer be seen as a supererogatory act, or rather an act that is socially perceived as virtuous but has no social consequences if ignored. His argument is that people should not spend money on luxuries, as they have a moral obligation to give money to those in need. Singer briefly notes the objection of proximity that people often have towards his main argument. Some may be apprehensive about giving their excess money to people in distant countries, while there are local people with similar needs. However, Singer argues that “it makes no moral difference” (Singer, 231) whether the person in need is someone you have a close relationship with or a person on the other side of the world with whom you will never meet. His opinion is that everyone in need deserves an equal opportunity to get help, and the distance to those people makes no difference. Singer also argues that individuals should not rely on their government to help those in need. Instead it is the individual’s duties to both give their excess money as well as to campaign for governments to step up and help deprived countries. In Singer’s conclusion he argues that the strongest way to …show more content…
I feel that this claim is implausible because I have a relationship with those in my community, and those relationships cannot be separated from the concept of a moral obligation. People choose to live communally in order to create social bonds, which in turn, increase probability of aiding each other when in need. In helping a person who is geographically closer to me, I am able to systematically evaluate their needs, and therefore better assist said person. Furthermore, by helping a person with whom I share a community there is a greater expected benefit once the person’s life has improved. By saying this, I am assuming that after the person closer to me was assisted, they would in turn help others in the community until poverty, and famine, were eradicated from my

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